Mechanical and Aerospace Engineers work on a broad diversity of biological topics that span many length-scales, some studying the mechanics of the human body and others studying the mechanics of single molecules. In between these two extremes, many researchers are interested in how individual living cells sense and respond to their mechanical environments, including other cells in large populations. To program how cells interact with their surroundings and each other, controls engineers utilize modern genetic and molecular biology tools. Much of this research requires new tools and approaches, so biofabrication techniques like 3D bioprinting are being developed, enabling models of living human tissue to be manufactured and tested. Because living systems are so complex, much of our research serves to create new fundamental understanding of transport and mechanics in biological systems. The MAEBio group comprises this diversity of research areas, highlighted by the list of thrust areas, below.

Areas of Excellence

  • Biosensors and Medical Devices
  • Biotransport
  • Cell mechanics, mechanobiology, and biotribology
  • Clinical Biomechanics and Rehabilitation
  • Fundamentals of Biomechanics
  • Soft Matter and Biophysics
  • Systems and Synthetic Biology
  • Tissue Model Engineering and 3D Bioprinting


Leveraging a $300 million public-private collaboration, the University of Florida is revolutionizing its campus core by establishing a hub for biotechnology research and education. The newly constructed Herbert Wertheim Laboratory for Engineering Excellence serves as the flagship facility, boasting an expansive 84,000-square-foot, cutting-edge biotechnology laboratory and educational space. MAEBio faculty benefits from shared laboratory areas within this innovative building. The state-of-the-art MAEBio faculty labs provide access to collaborative research spaces, such as multiple cell culture rooms, and an impressive array of advanced analytical instruments. Some examples of these instruments include a Bruker BioAFM atomic force microscope, a BD FACSMelody Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting system, a Cytek Northern Lights cytometer, Zeiss LSM900/980 confocal fluorescence microscopy systems, and Licor Odyssey and BioTek Synergy spectroscopic imager/readers. This extensive suite of tools and resources empowers MAEBio researchers to push the boundaries of biotechnology and drive innovation in the field.

Within the Herbert Wertheim Laboratory for Engineering Excellence, the Gary J. Miller PhD Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratory includes an 800-square-foot computational space (currently outfitted with more than a dozen computer workstations), desks and conference space to accommodate up to 22 students or research fellows. An adjoining, 400-square-foot room has benches and equipment for fabrication of hardware, sensors and other small technological equipment. Additionally, a new 954-square-foot experimental facility for human movement analysis is currently under construction in the nearby MAE-B building, slated for completion in Spring 2023.  

Associated Centers & Institutes

Related Faculty

Dr. Katerina E. Aifantis Associate Professor and MAE Faculty Fellow
(352) 392-6227

After obtaining my Bachelor’s in Engineering in 2002 with a minor in Mathematics, at the age of 19, I received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship with which I obtained my Master’s from the University of Cambridge in 2004 and my PhD at the University of Groningen in 2005 at the age of 21, becoming the youngest PhD in The Netherlands.…

Dr. Jessica Allen Assistant Professor

Dr. Allen’s research focuses on identifying biomechanical targets that can guide interventional decisions in rehabilitation and device design for individuals with ambulatory impairments. This work leverages musculoskeletal modeling and machine learning techniques to identify deficits in lower-extremity biomechanics and to predict how different interventions or devices will improve ambulatory function. Dr. Allen and collaborators have recently identified several potential biomechanical targets for reducing fall risk and improving mobility in older adults and stroke survivors that her group is following up in NSF and NIH funded projects.…

Dr. Thomas E. Angelini Professor
(352) 392-6438

Professor Angelini received his Ph.D. in 2005 from the University of Illinois. His research interests include collective cell motion, mechanical instabilities in tissue cell assemblies, bacterial biofilm physics, soft matter physics, biomolecular self-assembly, and tribology of soft matter interfaces.
Ph.D., 2005, University of Illinois
Professional Memberships and Fellowships
American Physical Society, Member
Society of Tribologist and Lubrication Engineers, Member
Teaching Interests
Soft Biological Mechanics, Soft Tissue Mechanics, Data Measurement and Analysis, Vibrations.…

Dr. Scott Banks Courtesy Professor
(352) 392-6109

Professor Banks has been active in orthopaedic and joint mechanics research his entire career. He is a member of several professional societies including ASME, the Knee Society, the American Society for Biomechanics and the Orthopaedic Research Society. Professor Banks served as President and annual conference host for the International Society for Technology in Arthroplasty in 2013, and remains a member of the Board of Directors.…

Dr. Youping Chen Professor
(352) 392-8494

Dr. Chen received her Ph.D from the Georgia Washington University in 2003 and jointed University of Florida in 2006. She was a recipient of DARPA Young Faculty Award in 2010 for “Predicting materials properties from their microstructural architecture”, DOE Early Career Award in 2011 for “Prediction of thermal transport properties of materials with microstructural complexity”, and nine US National Science Foundation Awards for multiscale studies of mechanics of advanced materials and thermal transport in heterostructures from 2009 to 2023.…

Dr. Kerry Costello Assistant Professor

Dr. Costello’s research focuses on understanding the role of movement biomechanics and physical activity in musculoskeletal health, with an emphasis on knee osteoarthritis. This work utilizes motion capture, wearable sensors and machine learning to examine how time-varying, multidimensional joint loads experienced during human movement contribute to disease progression. She recently received a career development award through the Rheumatology Research Foundation to study the role of physical activity patterns in knee osteoarthritis progression using deep learning.…

Dr. Warren Dixon Dean’s Leadership Professor and Department Chair
(352) 846-1463

Prof. Warren Dixon received his Ph.D. in 2000 from Clemson University. He worked as a research staff member and Eugene P. Wigner Fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) until 2004, when he joined the University of Florida in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, where he is now an Ebaugh Professor and Department Chair. His main research interest has been the development and application of Lyapunov-based control techniques for uncertain nonlinear systems.…

Dr. Z. Hugh Fan MAE Excellence Term Professor
(352) 846-3021

Professor Fan joined UF in 2003.  His research focus is to develop microfluidics and BioMEMS technologies and apply them to biomedical applications.  Microfluidics involves device fabrication and manufacturing, study of fluid behavior in microscale, and exploiting the devices for a variety of applications including point-of-care testing, environmental monitoring, and detection of pathogens in the field.

Dr. Hitomi Yamaguchi Greenslet Professor and Graduate Coordinator
(352) 392-0812

Professor Greenslet received her Ph.D. in 1996 from Utsunomiya University in Japan. Her research interests include Magnetic field-assisted finishing; Surface functionalization and characterization; Ultra-precision surface finishing of optics; Surface and edge finishing of capillary tubes, catheter shafts and stents; and Medical device development.
Ph.D., 1996, Utsunomiya University, Japan
Professional Memberships and Fellowships
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Fellow 2015
Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Fellow 2016
American Heart Association, Member
International Academy for Production Engineering, Member
International Society for Optics and Photonics, Member
Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, Member
Teaching Interests
Manufacturing engineering, Fundamentals of production engineering, Nontraditional manufacturing engineering.…

Dr. Mike Griffis Senior Lecturer and Undergraduate Coordinator
(352) 392-9473

After 20 years in the robotics industry, Mike came back to UF to teach the design courses.
1991 Ph.D. University of Florida
1988 MSME University of Florida
1985 BSME University of Florida
Professional Memberships and Fellowships
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Member
Teaching Interests
Design, Kinematics, Statics, Numerical Methods
Research Interests
Kinematics, Statics, Screw Theory

Dr. Yong Huang Professor
(352) 392-5520

Dr. Yong Huang is a professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering. His research interests are two-fold: 1) processing of biological and engineering materials for healthcare/energy applications, and 2) understanding of dynamic material behavior during manufacturing and process-induced damage or defect structures. He served as the Technical Program Chair for the 2010 American Society of Mechanical Engineers International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference (ASME MSEC 2010) and the 2012 International Symposium on Flexible Automation (ISFA 2012).…

Dr. Amor A. Menezes Assistant Professor
(352) 294-0470

Amor A. Menezes is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, an affiliate of the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, an affiliate of the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, and a member of the Institute for Cell & Tissue Science and Engineering at the University of Florida. His group applies dynamical systems theory and control engineering methods in the fields of systems biology and synthetic biology.…

Dr. Saeed Moghaddam William F. Powers Professor
(352) 392-0889

Ph.D., 2006, University of Maryland
Research Interests
Micro/nanoscale transport and nanotechnology for energy science and health applications; nanoengineering of functionalized membranes for energy conversion and storage and filtration/separation applications; heat and mass transfer in micro/nanostructures; microfluidic reactor platforms for fundamental energy research and reaction engineering; portable power

Professional Memberships and Fellowships
American Association for the Advancement of Science, Member
American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Member
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Fellow 2020
Institute of Electrics and Electronics Engineers, Member

Dr. Jing Pan Assistant Professor
(352) 294-6869

Jing Pan received his PhD from Purdue University in 2017. His research focuses on developing nanoscale machineries for biotechnology applications. He conducted his postdoctoral research at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he demonstrated translational impact of his work in novel biosensors and molecular diagnostics.

Postdoc, 2019 Stanford University
Ph.D, 2017 Purdue University
B.S, 2011 Xi’an Jiaotong University

Teaching Interests
Heat and Mass Transfer; Classical and Statistical Thermodynamics; Modern Optics and Imaging System Engineering; Biodesign

Research Interests
Macromolecular Machines; Directed Evolution; Self-assembly and self-organization; Bio-nanotechnology; Synthetic Biology; Medical Technology.

Dr. Umesh Persad Instructional Associate Professor

Dr. Umesh Persad obtained his Ph.D. in Engineering Design from The University of Cambridge (Cambridge Engineering Design Centre), with a special focus on Inclusive and Healthcare Design. His areas of interest include Engineering Design and Product Development, Applied Artificial Intelligence, Educational Innovation and Technology, and Academic Strategy and Leadership. Dr. Persad previously held the position of Associate Professor and Head of Department of the Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing and Entrepreneurship (MME) Department at The University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), West Indies.…

Dr. Malisa Sarntinoranont Professor and Associate Chair for Faculty Affairs
(352) 392-8404

Dr. Sarntinoranont grew up in Starke, Clermont and Gainesville, FL. Her degrees are in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis in Bioengineering. Dr.S’s research is driven by a vision to develop engineering tools for patient-specific drug therapy. Her lab is developing image-based computational models that predict flows and transport within the brain, spinal cord, tumors and bioreactors.…

Dr. Douglas E. Spearot Newton C. Ebaugh Professor and Graduate Coordinator
(352) 392-6747

Professor Spearot received his Ph.D. in 2005 from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research broadly includes the use of atomistic and mesoscale simulation techniques to study the mechanical and thermodynamic properties of materials, with particular focus on the behavior of interfaces. He was awarded the NSF CAREER Award in 2010 and was named 2020 Teacher of the Year in the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering.…

Dr. Xin Tang Assistant Professor
(352) 294-1194

Professor Xin Tang received his Ph.D. from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Post-doctoral Fellow training from Harvard University. His research interests include cell and molecular mechanics in cancer development and metastasis, cardiovascular system, and neurons; unconventional mechano-electrophysiology; quantitative in vivo/vitro functional bio-imaging; bio-nanotechnology; and development of new biophysical tools to probe biological function/structure.
Ph.D., 2013, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Teaching Interests
Active Soft Matter Biophysics; Biomechanics at Molecular, Cellular and Tissue Scales; Quantitative Optical Bio-imaging; Continuum Mechanics; and Finite-element Analysis
Research Interests
Biomechanics, Mechanobiology and Soft Matter: Cell and molecular mechanics in cancer development and metastasis, cardiovascular system, and neurons; unconventional mechano-electrophysiology; quantitative in vivo/vitro functional bio-imaging; bio-nanotechnology; and development of new biophysical tools to probe biological function/structure.…